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Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform supports the API development lifecycle.
  • Explain the importance of the Anypoint Exchange.
  • Identify the primary tools of Anypoint Platform and their uses.

Anypoint Platform and the Development Lifecycle

We can break down Anypoint Platform into the following components.

A diagram showing the Anypoint platform sitting atop on-premises and private cloud, hybrid cloud, Mulesoft hosted systems, and other cloud service platform providers.

Components
Description
Anypoint Design Center
Design APIs, build integrations, and create connectors for any system.
Anypoint Management Center
Manage all aspects of your APIs, integrations, and the Anypoint Platform, from initial deployment to ongoing operations.
Anypoint Exchange
Store private assets in a central repository or access publicly shared resources.
Mule
The underlying execution engine—a general purpose processor that is lightweight and highly performant.
Runtime Services
Support the auxiliary functionalities of the platform, such as temporary storage of data and message queuing.

If you're a developer, you're likely familiar with the application development lifecycle in one form or another. Anypoint Platform, with its driving philosophy of API-led connectivity, follows a similar development lifecycle: Design, Develop & Test, Deploy, Operate, and Engage.

A circular diagram showing the stages of the development lifecycle. Engage is in the middle, surrounded by Design, Dev and Test, Deploy, and Operate.

Next, we highlight these tools as they relate to the development lifecycle. Small spoiler: It all begins (and ends) with the Anypoint Exchange.

Engage: Avoid Reinventing the Wheel

The engage symbol is characterized by people standing together.Let’s say you’re a seasoned architect of the Salesforce platform, and you’ve determined that the solution to your business requirements can’t be met with clicks alone. What do you do before you turn your team of developers loose to create Lightning Components and Apex triggers? You check the  AppExchange to see if a solution already exists.

Like the AppExchange for Salesforce, MuleSoft has the Anypoint Exchange. Here you find a public repository of connectors, templates, examples, and APIs.

In the open source spirit, this is where developers share their design patterns and best practices. This includes everything from reusable fragments of API definitions to full-fledged examples. For example, the corporately approved standard design pattern for securing the organization’s APIs.  It can also include third party APIs to which certain functionalities and features can be outsourced because of how senseless and wasteful it is to insource them. For example, one of the APIs available through the public exchange is a COVID Data Tracking API for organizations that are building apps to help in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 Data Tracking API available on the Anypoint Exchange

Note

Note

Before you reinvent the wheel, stop over by the public Anypoint Exchange. There may be something useful for your project.

Design, Develop, and Test

The design symbol is characterized by a triangle, square, and circle. The Dev and Test symbol is characterized by a web browser graphic with empty markup tags.

When you are ready to design, develop, and test your own APIs, the Anypoint Design Center has you covered. It includes tools such as API designer, Studio, and Flow designer. Using these tools, developers and Integration Trailblazers can:

  • Design, document, and test APIs in a web-based graphical environment.
  • Use open API specifications to scaffold the API implementations, automatically generate documentation, or mock (simulate) an API.
  • Build or prototype integrations and implement APIs in a low-code environment in your browser or desktop. For example an Integration Trailblazer might want to take the low-code approach to test a theoretical integration that might be a boon to the business.
  • Create data transformations within a drag-and-drop interface or by writing the code.
  • Test integrations manually or automate tests locally or in continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) environments.

A screenshot of the drag and drop user interface of the Anypoint Studio.

Remember, there may be existing assets you can reuse on the Anypoint Exchange. Mulesoft also provides many prebuilt components and connectors to save time and tedium. What once took weeks to build can now be accomplished in hours. What’s more, it’s all part of a thoughtfully organized, API-led, reusable architecture.

Deploy and Operate

The Deploy symbol is characterized by a rocket ship and the Operate symbol is characterized by two gears.

The tests have all passed and it'’s time to put the code in production, so let’s move on to the Anypoint Management Center, which allows you to:

  • Deploy, manage, and monitor APIs and integrations in the cloud or on-premises.
  • Provision access to individuals or across entire teams with single sign-on technologies such as OAuth and SAML.
  • Manage proxy, control versions, apply prebuilt or custom policies, and set alerts.
  • Track key metrics like API usage, transactions by region, and performance with pre-built or custom dashboards.
  • Identify issues, map dependencies, monitor diagnostics, and manage logs in one unified interface.

hese are screenshots from the Anypoint Management Center. There is a map with certain regions shaded in, a bar graph, line graphs, and tables.

Engage: Contribute Your Work for Reuse

Our journey ends in the same place it began: the Anypoint Exchange. Here, you may store connectors, templates, examples, API definitions, even API fragments in a privately shared space, so others in your team can take advantage of the work you’ve done to avoid redundancy and duplication.

On the Anypoint Exchange, connectors are listed as tiles, with a circular graphic in the middle of each tile to indicate what type of asset they are.

Sum It Up!

You've learned about the importance of API-led development and having an application network to help you build new and innovative customer experiences. You caught a glimpse of how Cloud Kicks incorporated the Integration Trailblazer mindset in their business. Finally, you learned how MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform provide you with the tools you need to get there. Whether this is a refresher, or you're just starting on your journey, you're one step closer to building great integrations.

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